Florida coach Will Muschamp said junior Jeff Driskel will start at quarterback Saturday night against LSU, but he had little to say about Treon Harris beyond endorsing his indefinite suspension from the team.
Harris, a freshman quarterback who rallied the Gators to a 10-9 victory over Tennessee on Saturday, is being investigated in a sexual assault claim made the next day by a female UF student. Harris has not been charged but was suspended indefinitely Monday by the school.
On Wednesday, in response to media requests, the university released an 18-page report on the investigation, but the document was almost completely redacted. By law, active criminal investigations are exempt from public records law, UF said. The University Police Department investigation is ongoing.
Muschamp, speaking to reporters on Wednesday's SEC teleconference and in a subsequent media session with the beat writers, said Harris, 18, faced a "serious charge." He said the school's statement Monday that it would have "no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus," was self-explanatory.
"There's been no change in Treon's status, and I really don't have anything to add on the situation at this time," he said.
Muschamp said he postponed his usual Monday media session out of respect for the gravity of the situation. "With the situation Monday and the seriousness of it, I felt like it was a little insensitive to have a football press conference," he said. "I think it is today, too. But we've got to move forward."
Driskel has faced heavy public criticism the past several weeks after the Gators (3-1) were taken to triple overtime before beating Kentucky, overwhelmed by Alabama, then fell behind 9-0 before he was benched late in the third quarter in Knoxville last weekend.
"Jeff's a tough young man," Muschamp said. "He's resilient. I met with him Sunday and I talked to him after the game and talked to him Monday. He understands there's some situations - he needs to play better. He takes full responsibility to be the quarterback at the University of Florida. The way he has handled this has been outstanding.''
Freshman Will Grier and sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg have taken snaps this week, but no decision has been made on who will back up Driskel. Grier, who missed the past two weeks of practice with back spasms, had been expected to redshirt before the Harris investigation.
Mornhinweg, a redshirt sophomore, and freshman defensive lineman Gerald Willis will not be disciplined after their fight outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday that sent Mornhinweg to the hospital. The two brawled when Willis borrowed cleats he believed belonged to teammate Jordan Sherit. Mornhinweg believed they were his.
"There was no stealing involved,'' Muschamp said. "If there had been stealing involved, they wouldn't be on our football team anymore. That's a team rule. It's a misunderstanding that has been completely blown out of proportion in my opinion."
Contact Antonya English at email@example.com or (813) 226-3389. Follow @TB Times_Gators.